Kathleen Eschenberg, Author . Harper Torch $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-380-81569-2

Against the evocatively drawn backdrop of Baltimore and Virginia 10 years after the Civil War, first-time author Eschenburg spins a gentle romance rich with emotion and vivid detail. Haunted by his inadequacies as a father, Dr. Gordon Kincaid, a hardened war veteran and widower from the South, is determined to find a mother for his son, Gordy, and his recently discovered illegitimate daughter, Clara. Gordon has his sights set on a frivolous, high society miss, but when he meets Maggie Quinn, Clara's Irish schoolteacher at St. Columba's orphanage, he begins to believe in second chances. Maggie soon finds herself torn between the safety of a future in a convent and the terrifying exhilaration of her attraction to Gordon. At the same time, Maggie's socially unacceptable Irish-Catholic heritage and Gordon's hardheaded search for an instant mother threaten to tear the two apart. Brimming with tangible historical details, sensitive prose and a wealth of poignant scenes, Eschenburg's love story easily escapes the sometimes confining predictability of the romance genre and breathes a fuller life into it. (Nov. 6)

Forecast:The novel's bland cover won't boost sales any, but strong word-of-mouth will motivate those who are tired of gorging on light romantic bonbons to seek out this stirring story.

Reviewed on: 10/15/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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